tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN August 16, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello. i'm kate bolduan. a quest for healing in a city heartbroken by hate-fueled violence and a country left searching for moral guidance right now and wondering where does the president stand? a memorial service is about to get under way as we speak for heather heyer, the woman killed while protesting against the white supremacist rallies in charlottesville this weekend. a woman described as passionate, kind and a sweet soul and a strong advocate. today, she is lost but not forgotten and that is why there's an overflowing crowd turning out to pay their respects and also wearing purple in her honor. her favorite color. her mother and others close to her say heather's death reflects the principles that guided her life. the man behind the wheel of the car that barreled into her and many others is now charged with murder. amid the heartache, a new wave of moral outrage over the president and his latest
comments. again, blaming both sides for the violence over the weekend. there's only one side to be clear. even more shocking, saying there were very fine people marching alongside the neo-nazis and klansmen. this just in. just got this in moments ago. fresh condemnation of the president's remarks from a member of his own party. i just got this from senator lindsay graham's office. mr. president, i encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in charlottesville. your words are dividing americans, not healing them. through his statements yesterday, president trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-nazis and kkk members who attended the charlottesville rally and people like ms. heyer. i along with many others do not endorse this moral equivalency. senator graham goes on to say many republicans do not agree with and will fight back against
the idea that the party of lincoln has a welcome mat out for the david dukes of the world. finally, my thoughts and prayers will be with the family and friends of miss heyer as they remember and honor her today. that from republican senator lindsey graham. many republicans are having a hard time calling the president out by name. lindsey graham did just that just now. we will get to that. much more of that in just a moment. i do want to continue to shine a light this hour on the life and death of heather heyer. we are outside the memorial service right now. what are you hearing and seeing? what's going on there? >> reporter: well, kate, the paramount theater where the service will be held is now full with people coming here, being sent to an overflow area. governor terry mcauliffe is inside, senator tim kaine as well as residents of
charlottesville and we just received a copy of the program from rosa flores. we learned we will hear from both of heather's parents, her grandfather, two cousins, the man who hired her to work with the miller law group here in charlottesville as well as the reverend harold behr. >> if he was at all concerned about not only her but the two troopers who lost their life as a result of that group coming here, if they had not been here, no lives would have been lost. but because she stood up for what she believed, she lived a life of significance and not a life of success. the president has successful life but not a significant life, because i don't know anybody he's made a difference in their life like she has. >> reporter: heather's parents have requested that no political views be shared in the service
today that should be about remembering the life of their daughter. >> there is so much to remember from everything we are just starting to learn about heather heyer. we will be taking some of the key moments from this memorial service as it gets under way. thank you so much. we will get back to charlottesville and that service throughout the show. even for a man who based his entire political career on discarding norms and traditions, the collective shock over the president's latest remarks is both extraordinary as it is deep and wide. americans woke up to these headlines today. "the washington post" opinion page declaring the nation can only weep. the "chicago sun times" calling him america's bigot in chief. jeff zeleny is outside trump tower in new york with much more on what's the view from inside the president's circle. what is the word from inside the president's circle today? >> reporter: well, we have received a tweet just moments ago from the president who is actually focused on what is going on in charlottesville. let's take a look at this tweet.
i believe we have it. it says the memorial service today for the beautiful and incredible heather heyer, a truly special young woman. she will be long remembered by all. that's a tweet from the president. this is something that the president's advisers were hoping he could have talked about yesterday. they were hoping he could have continued his theme of the speech that he began earlier in the week when he was at the white house condemning the acts of hate over the weekend. instead, we all saw that he took a different approach. he decided to show his private frustration at the criticism of his initial reaction publicly as we have all seen now. let's take a quick look at this moment that is still causing so much controversy among republicans like you said, senator lindsey graham. it's because of the president saying both sides. let's watch. >> i do think there's blame, yes, i think there's blame on both sides. you look at -- you look at both sides, i think there's blame on
both sides. and i have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either. >> reporter: so there we heard the president saying both sides, both sides. that is what has frustrated many presidential advisers. they are being very silent about it this morning, i have to say. there's been very little public reaction. one administration official i talked to earlier this morning said this. we have work to do and we are going to do it. but the reality is this has complicated the president's legislative agenda as well. so many republicans he needs to work with him and indeed, they are supportive of his agenda, simply wish he would talk about that and would have stuck to the script of infrastructure yesterday, was designed to turn the page to do that. he of course did not. he will be leaving trump tower here in a few hours going back to new jersey and we are just getting word in that he will be actually going to camp david on friday to discuss with his national security council his southeast asia strategy, his military strategy in asia. this is something again, the
white house trying to get back on track. the president himself often drags them in the other direction. >> off the rails, as of yesterday. jeff, real quick, you mentioned that you heard from someone within the white house saying they have work to do and they are going to do it. it does beg the question, what kind of work are they talking about? are they talking about getting back to the agenda or about work to do to try to heal the wounds that he created with his comments just yesterday? you have to wonder when you see those photos from when he held that press conference yesterday of john kelly kind of hanging his head, gary cohn, jewish members of his inner circle, jewish members of his cabinet, african, the africa chn-america member of his cabinet. what are they saying? what are they doing today? >> reporter: i would put them in the category of people who have been utterly silent about this. you saw the looks on their faces. chief of staff john kelly, the look on his face was very disspirited, disappointed. as we know, he's explained his
job as trying to bring order to the staff, not the president. he knows that is, a, impossible to do and b, something he cannot do. but there is deep disappointment among some staff members. when they say we have work to do they are talking about their legislative agenda, about trying to focus on that. but i think that misses the magnitude of this. we heard the president earlier this week saying that he has condemned those remarks. as it was a one-time event in past tense, then can move on. of course that's not the case here. he's opened up many old wounds. he's sided with supremacists, with members of the ku klux klan, david duke praised this president. there's no question, the white house cannot turn this page. they cannot move forward with their agenda until he addresses this. he alone will have to do this. he's not scheduled to make any comments today. we will let you know if that changes. >> jeff, great to see you. thank you. jeff zeleny on top of it for us. this morning another measure of the president's remarks and
how they are being received. four of the nation's top military leaders, all joint chiefs of staff, have taken to twitter to condemn racism and bigotry. these men are the president's top advisers on military and national security issues. what are they advising the president today? barbara starr joins us from the pentagon. give us some perspective on this. it seems pretty extraordinary. >> reporter: it is very rare. to be clear, none of them are directly challenging the president or criticizing the president. but make no mistake. the joint chiefs have now stepped of their own free will into this national conversation. it's very important to see what they are tweeting. the head of the u.s. air force, himself a combat veteran, saying quote, i stand with my fellow service chiefs in saying we are always stronger together. it's who we are as airmen. the head of the army, general millie, the army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism or
hatred in our ranks. it's against our values and everything we have stood for since 1775. head of the marine corps, no place for racial hatred or extremism in the u.s. marine corps, our core values of honor, courage and commitment frame the way marines live and act. and the head of the u.s. navy, very direct, saying events in charlottesville unacceptable and mustn't be tolerated, the u.s. navy forever stands against intolerance and hatred. they are speaking to several audiences here. they are speaking to their troops. we know the man charged in the murder of heather in charlottesville served in the army very briefly. we know one of the heads of one of these white supremacist groups served in the marines. they are speaking to their troops, speaking to veterans, saying this is intolerable, this will not be tolerated in u.s. military ranks. but they are also very aware, we know, that there is this national conversation and they
know that when people see these pictures in charlottesville, they see people dressed in fake military gear, to a large extent, they see this, these images and now the joint chiefs speaking out and it's so extraordinary because really, since the moment donald trump started running for president, they had been very determined to stay out of what some may call a domestic political issue. today, not so much. they are weighing in. >> really remarkable. barbara, thank you so much for bringing us that important perspective. we will also get back to charlottesville to the memorial service for heather heyer throughout the hour. we are keeping our eye there in charlottesville. we will get back there in just a moment. joining me to discuss everything that has transpired, former democratic mayor of philadelphia, michael nutter is here and cnn political analyst and "usa today" columnist, kir sten powers is here. david french with the national review and also white house
reporter from "the washington post" abby phillip. thank you for being here. abby, first to you. i want to get your reaction to the statement that lindsey graham put out that i read at the top of the hour, where he calls out the president pretty directly, where many republicans have not. what do you -- what's your take on it? >> it's not entirely surprising because as you noted, lindsey graham is not a stranger to criticizing the president. but it's telling because it sounds in some ways like he's signaling to the rest of his party this is the direction you need to go in, your statements need to be a little more strong. and i think republicans have to talk to each other here, have to signal to each other what's okay. i know that sounds kind of cynical but this is politics. sometimes people hesitate to stick their necks out, especially criticizing a president in their own party. i think lindsey graham is someone who has often been a strong, vocal person out there
pushing back on trump but it's notable also because he's a senator from a southern state. it is important for him to say that, to actually be on the front lines of an issue like this, because this is a debate that's going on in south carolina, too. i remember when a couple years ago after the charleston shooting they had a debate about whether to take the confederate flag down. that was a key moment for law makers in that state. southern republicans have to lead the way on this and help their brothers and sisters in their own party figure out what to do here. >> david, i want your perspective on this. because we have seen some other republicans, big name republicans like john kasich, john mccain, marco rubio, jeb bush, all of them either mavericks or have run against donald trump, notably, calling the president out by name. then there was this. manu raju reported this this morning. the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is privately upset
with the president's handling of this episode, according to a source close to the leader. is that enough? >> it's nowhere near enough. at this point, what you have i think is you still have a lot of republicans with their heads in the stand. they are sitting there thinking let's just get through these bad news cycles and we can still accomplish some good things with the president's agenda. we can lower taxes, we can do some other good things. but they have to -- they cannot miss that there's a larger cultural conversation. there's a larger cultural significance to what's happening here. that larger cultural significance can swamp 2% to 3% on tax rates and its long term importance. what you had here was the president of the united states gave a press conference that was the press conference of the alt-right's dreams. that's a significant moment. the alt-right was celebrating this moment because in many ways, they viewed that he mainstreamed them. he distinguished them from
nazis. >> i will jump in to take us back to charlottesville. heather heyer's father is speaking. let's listen. >> you loved her, too. she was kind of hard that way, hard not to love. i want to tell a short story of when she was about 9. i came from louisiana. her mom came from virginia and my folks came up from florida. we went to a cabin and we spent a few days together. and the evening was about to get a little chilly and her mom told her to put a sweater on because we were going to the pool. well, actually, i kind of agreed with heather. she didn't want to put a sweater on. but she defied her mom and her mom said we're not going to the pool unless you put the sweater on. well, for the next two hours,
heather decided that she knew better at 9, and defied her mom. well, the only thing i could do was go sit in the room with her. i couldn't cross her mom. and to this day, i don't remember how that turned out but i don't really remember. all i remember is heather's passion. heather's passion extended to her ideas, her thoughts, her grandfather was right, she could tell if somebody wasn't being straight. and she would call you on it. and like a father and daughter relationship, we don't always agree and susan expressed to me that yeah, along with me and everybody else, she would argue if she thought it was appropriate, even if she didn't think it was appropriate, she would tell you what she thought.
and as i listened to her frie s friends, and hear stories of my daughter and the way she was, she loved people. she wanted equality and in this issue of the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate and for my part, we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. i think that's what the lord would want us to do, is to stop, just love one another. i came here today and i was overwhelmed, i was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room.
that's how heather was. it didn't matter who you were or where you were from. if she loved you, that was it. you were stuck. so for that, i'm truly proud of my daughter. that's as far as i've gotten. next will be reverend harold behr. >> mark heyer, heather heyer's father. we will take more of this service but just in the interim, mayor nutter, if i could get your reaction to those emotional words, what that father just said about his daughter. >> well, first, kate, i have a 34-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter, and i just, i cannot even imagine what mr. heyer is feeling right now,
and it is the worst nightmare possible. but he got through it and talked about his love for heather. you know, we are passionate about our children but we are often of course passionate about what they are passionate about. i think the message that he tried to deliver right there at the end about love, it's not just a throwaway kind of thing. it's not just a nice thing to do. i think he's really communicating a national message for where we are. i don't often agree with senator graham about a whole bunch of things but you have to recognize people for where they are. i think his statement was very powerful. i think what senator orrin hatch said, again, not someone i normally agree with on a bunch of things, but he said his brother did not die in a war to allow folks to express naziism and these kind of thoughts here in the united states of america. this is a moment for us and in a
most bizarre way, it is actually bringing some people who might not always agree with each other to start talking with each other, so to some extent, mr. trump has taken himself out of a lot of conversations. he has no moral high ground to be on and will be ignored in many instances. but can we bring ourselves together as a nation. it might not be one person. it clearly won't be the president in this moment. but can we extend our open hand and start some partnerships, get some things done, but also do the right thing and not just by our words, but more importantly, by our actions. our children are watching us. all of us. in these moments. we are at a critical time in american history. i haven't felt like this, going back a little ways, but i was a kid during much of the civil rights movement.
not old enough to participate but i was paying attention. when i think about now senator john lewis and -- congressman john lewis and the pettis bridge, the day dr. martin luther king was killed, all of these things are coming back to so many of us. so these fights and these battles are still going on. but americans are talking to each other i think in very different ways right now. we need to recognize the moment we're in. the president is the president. he does whatever he does and has no standing to even try to bring people together. but there are leaders out there. i think those leaders need to step forward, say what needs to be said, then do what needs to be done. we are americans. that's who we are. that's what we're about. >> one of those leaders is heather heyer's father, mark heyer. she wanted to put down hate. we just need to forgive each other. we will take a quick break.
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more reaction coming in to the president's remarks yesterday. what he said that both sides on this, many sietdz, siddes commi violence in charlottesville. george h.w. bush, george w. bush issuing a joint statement. america must always reject racial bigotry, anti-semitism and hatred in all forms. as we pray for charlottesville we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the declaration of independence. we are all created equal and endowed by our creator with unalienable rights. we know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our
country. the panel is back with me to discuss as we keep our eye and our hearts on charlottesville. what's your reaction to hearing this? >> well, i think that we have now had a lot of different people weigh in with some generic statements about how important it is to not be racist. what we haven't had enough of is people actually calling out donald trump specifically for doing something that i actually think we have called a lot of different things and i think this is actually evil. evil really is the right word. if you look at the pictures of those people marching with those tiki torches, that is the face of evil. this is not a partisan disagreement. this isn't an idealogical disagreement. this is the president of the united states trying to equate evil, racism, anti-semitism, people killing an innocent young girl who is there just trying to protest against evil, and we hear republicans, we hear reporting at least that
republicans are saying other than the few that always sort of come out and do the right thing, marco rubio, lindsey graham, john mccain, whatever, saying well, they are worried about tax reform. at some point you have to decide where you stand on some basic moral issues. i also don't think if i ever hear republicans talk again of why they can't figure out that african-americans don't vote for them, this is the reason right here. if you cannot understand what's wrong here, you have a real moral deficit, i think. >> david, what do you think of that? >> it's hard to disagree with anything that kirsten said. look, this should be honestly the easiest layup in american politics to call out neo-nazis, neo-confederates and to not try to draw fine distinctions between who are the good people marching, chanting blood and soil and the jews will not replace us, and who are the bad
people marching, chanting those things? this was a gathering of evil men and she is exactly right, evil men. to then have from the bully pulpit, the highest, the most prominent person in the land to deliver an impromptu news conference that causes these evil people to celebrate, to celebrate, is a stunning moment in recent american history. that's why i said earlier, we can't be sitting here talking right now about 3% or 4% in marginal tax rates. there are larger cultural concerns here that go to the founding of our country. this is the central divide that has been, that almost ruptured the country entirely at one point, and to not be able to have a clear, clarion call in this moment, is deeply distressing. it's doubly distressing that evil men were given aid and comfort. that has to be called out and
has to be called out clearly, unequivocally and unashamedly. >> with all of that in mind, abby, it's 11:20, almost 11:30 in the east, after the complete shock of what happened yesterday after we watched this memorial service playing out this morning, where are we? what's your guess? >> that's a good question. i think it's still really unclear where we are right now. there are a lot of things happening with republicans. on one hand, they are trying to get donald trump to help them win the establishment, help the establishment candidate win in a special election in alabama so there's a little bit of that going on, some hand holding of the white house there, and there's also some hand holding on tax reform. republicans really want to get this stuff done and i don't think there are many that you will find right now who see a
path forward to confront trump on agenda items. i think they want to be able to kind of like deal with some of these moral issues in another lane and then deal with policy issues in another lane and i think it's unclear whether that's going to be a tenable solution going forward. when trump gets back to washington next week, when congress gets back later in the month, they will have to deal with some difficult issues and i don't necessarily think we are seeing any sign, really, that republicans are ready to go it alone, they are ready to speak out against trump. i think you will see them working together on tax reform. you will see them kind of staying quiet when they need him to do certain things for their agenda. if that changes, that will be different from what we have seen from republicans since trump came into the race over 18 months ago, two years ago. so as far as i'm concerned, i have not seen anything change and i have not heard anything from republicans that suggests that it will. >> mayor, go ahead.
>> well, one, i agree with abby. i think there's only one lane at the moment and they can't get around this. you can't ignore this. you're not going to just kind of sweep this away or make a statement and it's kind of over. >> is the damage undoable, mayor? >> i don't think the president at this point because of what he's said and i go back to, the tape is played a number of times, he's talking about the good people who were in that march and i can't say the things that they were saying but we all get the point. he was so angry yesterday, combative yesterday. when i see him and you hear the marchers, if there's any equivalence, it's between them. he did everything but have a torch in his hand yesterday, the way he was expressing himself. the true donald trump. so he has no ability to get us past this. i think other leaders, we talk about republicans, it's not
enough anymore to be quietly upset, privately upset, complaining to your staff if you're an elected official that you're really upset with the president. this is a seminal moment. this is the time for leadership. that's what people in elective office do. >> mayor -- >> they lead. >> in this seminal moment, we heard from the bushes, just read that statement. what do you think president obama is thinking right now? he's been mostly quiet since president trump took office. he's spoken out on a few issues. he issued a series of tweets quoting nelson mandela in the aftermath of charlottesville. what do you think he's thinking right now? >> i would like to think i know the president a little bit, president obama, spent a fair amount of time with him. one, i cannot imagine just how upset both he and still first lady to me michelle obama are. we know their character. we know their history.
we know they are both stand-up, caring, committed people. there's never been any question about that with either of the obamas. i'm sure president obama would like to say more. he recognizes, though, where he is in these moments and his proximity to having just been a president. he's going to be very careful, but those of us who do know him a little bit, we know where his head and heart is. he will continue to express himself but it has to be on his terms and in his time. >> but when you call it a seminal moment, do you want to hear him speak out? >> personally, i always want to hear president obama. we know that if this had taken place a year ago, the country would be in a very very different place. many different things than what we have ever heard would be said. and he has demonstrated, we saw it with the terror in the church, how he handled that particular moment.
it is a responsibility of this job, mayor, governor, president, the executive position, to be that healer, that comforter. politics aside. the current president does not have that capability. we have seen that time and time again. so i'm not asking president obama to say anything. he can conduct his own affairs. but we know that it would be healing, it would bring this country together. he will walk into the face of danger and dismay and unify americans and quite honestly, people around the world. we know that about him. >> if you will all stay with me. we will take a quick break and get back to charlottesville. heather heyer's mother will be speaking. that's moments away. stay with us.
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we are moments away from hearing from the mother of heather heyer. she is going to be speaking at this memorial service. we will bring it to you as soon as she steps to the microphone. we will bring you her remarks in full. as we wait for that, i want to bring in my panel. david, i just have a question as we watch this memorial play out. we think about national tragedies, these moments in the past. this is when presidents show up to these types of events. should the president be there in charlottesville? >> i would say this president should not be there in charlottesville given his impulsiveness, given the way he's so explicitly given aid and comfort to the alt-right. i would like to say that i could have confidence that the president of the united states could be there and be a healing force for kourn tour country, a unifying force for our country. i don't think at this point this president is capable of that.
in that sense i'm actually glad he's not there because i don't know what he would do, i don't know what he would say and based on the performance of the last 72 hours, to the extent he would say anything, i fear it would be terribly destructive. >> let's call it a juxtaposition of the last 72 hours, what we saw from the president yesterday, it was very obvious that he was very angry and passionate and emotional in speaking about his frustration with the media coverage of the events in his statements over the weekend. i haven't seen that when he talks about the innocent woman who died at the rally. he tweeted something very thoughtful about her this morning. but i hadn't seen that. why is that? >> well, i think the person that when you see him just unplugged, that's donald trump. so maybe somebody put a gun to his head and made him tweet that other tweet. we don't really know. what we do know is when he's talking and is in control of it, that is who he is.
and the fact that that's what makes him angry in this situation, again raises serious questions about his moral core and the fact that, you know, we say a lot like why doesn't donald trump come out and condemn the alt-right. we had this conversation many times preceding this. i think the simplest answer is always the best answer. to me the simplest answer is because he somehow relates to them. at this point, you just can't excuse it anymore. i don't think we could ever excuse it, but he's given plenty of opportunities to condemn them and he doesn't condemn them. he always says something when you go and look at their websites afterwards, they have heard as a sort of secret message that he's kind of on their side. he knows that. so he is making a decision to not only condemn them but excuse them in this situation. i mean to actually equate them with people who are protesting them. any person that looks at this and isn't disgusted and sick and in tears, frankly, you know what
i mean? almost everybody i know that watched this was actually brought to tears. something is wrong with you. just something is really wrong with the president that he has reacted this way. >> john kasich said it really well this morning. there is no moral equivalency between neo-nazis, the kkk and anyone. >> exactly. >> it doesn't matter. that from john kasich this morning. it stuck with me when he said it. if you could stick with me one more moment. mayor, please stick with me. i want to get you on the other side of this break. we will be hearing from heather heyer's mother at the memorial service in her honor in just a moment.
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where is your head today now that some time has passed, what you saw? >> you know, it's kind of on one end i'm sad. i first would like to say rest in peace to heather heyer and also the two police officers who lost their life. this is the result of the country that we are living in tod today. to see what's going on and to wake up to the news that we see every morning, it's something that is not surprising, dealing with who we have running our country, but it is disheartening. >> montae, what did you see when you were on the ground? did you see very fine people as the president said there were very fine people on both sides there? >> honestly, when it came to the
white supremacy organizations that were there, i would love to have seen some very fine people. honestly, we were there for love. we were there to hopefully get a constructive conversation out of somebody. honestly, if i would have gotten a hug from somebody, that would have been something that would have made my day. but instead, all we saw were these men and women walking around with big guns and pretty much in military uniform, we seen people riding around on the back of pickup trucks, about seven people on the back of these pickup trucks, they had, you know, white shirts and khaki pants and white helmets, white military helmets on, and they were not looking to just get a peaceful message out. they were looking like they wanted war. and that was how it felt. >> i read that you have told
some others that your great grandfather has told you stories about klan activity that he faced, that they witnessed. did you ever think after hearing those stories from your great grandfather that you would see burning torches in front of you today? >> i prayed that i wouldn't but i'm not surprised that i have. this is something that -- this hatred is something that our country has been founded off of and our country has been built off of for many years now, obviously. and until we have people on all sides of this country who denounce it and then also a president who will not stand for it, we will continue to experience this. >> what statements do you want experience this. >> what statements do you want to hear today? is there a statement -- is there
something the president could say that could make you feel any better? >> honestly, i have given up on looking to the president for any kind of statement anymore. the way he has acted since the time he began running for president, has shown that he's unprecedented and he does not know how to handle these people or he doesn't want to handle these people. i have given up on looking for any source of leader ship from this man. what i would like to see is more people of my age getting off of twitter and getting off of social media and actually coming out and doing some things, and i would like to see more of my people getting involved in their community. >> if you could forgive me. i want to go back to charlottesville right now. heather heyer's mother speaking now. >> she paid attention. she made a lot of us pay
attention. oh, my gosh, dinner with her, we flew was going to be an ordeal of listening and conversation and perhaps disagreement, but it was going to happen. and so my husband would say, okay, i'm going to go out in the car and play on my video game for a while and we would sit and we would grill and she and i would talk and i would listen, and we would negotiate and i would listen. and we talked about all this stuff, we talked about politics, we talked about anything that caught her eye that she felt was fair, unfair, she would talk about her feelings about the office and how things were going. she just talked and the girl loved to talk, and she was single and there was nobody to listen at home, and mama got a lot of it and that was wonderful. you never think you're going to bury your child, you never think to take those pictures, they asked me for pictures for this
and i struggled. i have had pictures in her childhood, but i have to go to face book to find pictures of my child because we were always together, i saw her a couple of times a month at least and we would text each other fairly often and we would text each other at bedtime, i love you, you okay? i love you. so i have no regrets on that part. take pictures of the ones you love, because you don't know when they're not going to be there. but here's what i want to say to you today, this could be a storm in a teacup and it could all be for nothing. i could have said let's don't do this publicly, let's have a small, private funeral, but that's not what heather was, anybody who knew heather said, yep, this is the way she had to go, big and large, had to have the world involved, because that's my child, she's just that way, always has been and she will continue to be. because here's the message, although heather was a caring
and compassionate person. so are a lot of you, a lot of you go that extra mile. and i think the reason that what happened to heather has truck a cord because we know that what she did is achievable. we don't all have to die, we don't all have to sacrifice our lives. they tried to kill my child to shut her up. well, guess what? you just magnified her. so here's what i want to happen. you ask me what can i do?
so many caring people. pages of pages of pages of stuff i'm going through, i'm reading pages and pages and pages of how she's touching the world. i want this to spread, i don't want this to die. this is just the beginning of heather's legacy, this is not the end of heather's legacy. you need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. what is there that i can do to make the world a better place? what injustice do i see and want to turn away, i don't really want to get involved in that, i'll speak up, they'll be annoyed with me, my boss might think less of me. i don't care, you have poked that finger at yourself like heather would have done and you make it happen. you take that extra step. you find a way to make a difference in the world. my child had a high school
education, my child was no saint, she was hard to raise because everything was a negotiation. my kid. but you know what? she was a firm believer in whatever she believed and let's do that. let's find that spark of conviction, let's find in ourselves that action. let's spread this. let's have the uncomfortable dialogue. it ain't easy sitting down and saying, well, why are you upset? it ain't easy sitting down, going, yeah, well, i think this way and i don't agree with you, but i'm going to respectfully listen to what you have to say. we're not going to sit around and shake hands and go "kumbaya," and i'm sorry, it's not all about forgiveness. i know that's not a popular trend. but the truth is, we are going to have our differences.
we are going to be angry with each other. but let's channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear, but let's channel that difference, that anger into righteous action. right now, down the road there's a blood drive going on in heather's name. right now there are people who are here willing to listen to one another and talk to one another. last night in new england, they had a peaceful rally in heather's name to have some difficult dialogues. if you ever want to see owhat oe of those dialogues look like, look at her facebook posts, they were rough sometimes but they were dialogues and the conversations have to happen. that's the only way we're going to carry heather's spark through, so remember in your heart, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention and
i want you to pay attention, find what's wrong, don't ignore it, don't look the other way, you make a point to look at it, and say to yourself, what can i do to make a difference? and that's how you're going to make my child's death worthwhile. i would rather have my child, but by golly, if i got to give her up, we're going to make it count. [ applause ]
moaned in the belly of a slave ship that was owned by john newton, to see the intermixing of the good things, the hard things that come together and can make something as beautiful as "amazing grace." so you're going to hear some sounds, some of you just imagine yourself on that ship. the things that are going on and happening right now. ♪ 6 ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound ♪ ♪ that saved a wretch like me